Bulk-loaded film: frame numbering

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Dallas, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    I just got back a roll of Provia 100 that was given to me by the dude who
    sold me the Nikon F4s. The film results are excellent, but I noticed
    something odd: the frame numbers are all out of synch.

    My frames begin at #27 and increase up until about #43, whereafter they
    revert to #1 and increase up to #13 again.

    Where do these numbers come from? Are they already on the film before
    exposure, or are they printed onto the film during processing? If the
    former is the case, I can understand the numbers not running from #1 to
    whatever I ended on, but if not, how did they get messed up?

    Would the fact that I am using the Nikon MF-23 back on the F4s have
    anything to do with this? I did set it to imprint shooting data between
    the frames, but I think I set the imprint function too low because it's
    barely visible - almost microscopic!
    Dallas, Sep 26, 2004
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  2. Yes, the former. When I did the zone system properly, I used to roll 10
    exposure rolls from my bulk film loader so that I could develop for the
    highlights. The numbers on the negs never made any sense, but it was enough
    to identify roll#/frame#
    Dominic Richens, Sep 26, 2004
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  3. The numbers and film type information is printed onto the film during
    manufacturing. If, as your subject line suggests, this was a
    bulk-loaded roll (spooled off a 100-foot roll into the cassette), then
    it's completely normal for the numbering to be wonky, starting at some
    random place in the middle, running up to something like 42, and then
    going back to zero and starting up again. I've got hundreds of rolls
    like that in my files.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Sep 27, 2004
  4. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Thanks Dominic & David.

    It makes sense to me now. I have quite a lot of bulk loaded film in the
    fridge plus the guy I bought the camera from gave me his bulk loader too,
    so if I ever have to, I can load in bulk too. The thing that scares me is
    ruining a bulk roll of film! Fortunately my lab also sells their own bulk
    loaded Velvia (50 & 100) and Provia, so at least I can let them take the
    risk for now - they seem to be pretty reasonably priced.
    Dallas, Sep 27, 2004
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